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Virus Hits Computer Network of District Election Center in Nagpur

In the Nagpur district collectorate (Maharashtra, India), the computer network at its election center found infected with a virus on April 13, 2009. It is said that the malicious code proliferated from special randomization software that was uploaded from Mumbai.

Consequently, it became necessary to completely format a minimum of two PCs while a large amount of data including some very important pieces got deleted.

According to the reports, it was planned that the software would be utilized for the allocation of polling booths randomly to election officers as well as for allocating vote casting machines. This was decided to prevent anyone from knowing beforehand about the officer or machine that would be posted on any booth so that possibilities of manipulation could be reduced.

However, following the uploading of the software from Mumbai, some computer users in Nagpur started observing malfunctioning on their systems. Soon, technical experts were asked to identify the root of the problem and they detected a virus in the computers.

Moreover, they rigorously sanitized some computers. However, two PCs at the local election center were completely formatted that led to an extensive data loss. It appeared that the virus posed to be a text file that held a number of instructions that their interpreter intended to carry out.

Avinash Katade, Assistant Election Officer of Nagpur, said that the center had already run and made use of the software earlier, but on April 13, 2009, their computers suddenly encountered the virus attack, as reported by The Times of India on April 15, 2009.

According to the reports, about 700 files on Katade's computer alone became infected, leading to the collapse of many functions of the system's OS. Nevertheless, Katade said that since he had already taken steps for precaution, it helped him to control the damage considerably.

Meanwhile, it is reported that hackers are continuously targeting the websites of Indian government. Recently, the private and government computers at the Embassy of India in Washington became targets for a huge Internet network, which was traced to China.

Besides, the government of India also acknowledged that hacking attempts had been occurring at its various embassies.

Related article: Virus Infects Through USB Drives

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